Phillies Mailbag: Darick Hall, the Wall, and Dan Baker
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. The Phillies are red hot and the questions are coming in in great number! We answer them on Tuesday afternoons on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in to hear your questions answered!
What do the Phillies do with Hall when Harper comes back? With the way he’s playing not sure they can send him back down.
Every time I think I have Darick Hall figured out, he exceeds my expectations. I thought, perhaps, he would have a bit of a run in the major leagues. Then the pitchers would learn how to pitch him, and then he might fade slowly in time for Bryce Harper to return. But Hall has been good.
Facing mostly right-handed pitching, Hall is now 103 at bats into his major league career. He has eight home runs and an OPS of .933 in his month with the Phillies. So far, so impressive.
Looking at the splits, he is hitless against left-handed pitching. But that is just six at bats; the Phillies seem to be keeping him from facing lefties. But that is OK, considering they are getting this much out of him. That is why Alec Bohm serves as designated hitter against lefties.
It seems to make sense that the Phillies would be wise to keep Hall around to face some right-handed pitching. It could mean he is a pinch-hitter, or gives Rhys Hoskins a day off against a tough righty. If Harper plays right field, he could spell Nick Castellanos, too.
The Phillies will have two extra roster spots starting September 1. Traditionally the two spots have gone to a third catcher and an extra pitcher. But the Phillies might have to forego that third catcher for Hall's bat in the month of September.
Then, playoff rosters tend to have a pitcher fewer or two, so there might be room.
But as we have seen many times, sometimes these moves work themselves out. Hopefully all remain healthy.
It's never to early to think about who goes on The Phillies Wall of Fame in 2023? Or maybe it is?
The Phillies Wall of Fame is the primary method of honoring some of Philadelphia's best players, including but not limited to those who have made the Hall of Fame. I think it's pretty certain that we are about to experience a deluge of 2008 Phillies joining the Wall of Fame. I think that will begin next year.
It might have started sooner. The 40th anniversary of the 1980 team was to take place in 2020. Of course, something happened during 2020 (I forget what) that no fans attended that year. So I think the inclusion of Ron Reed and Bake McBride helped close out this 40th anniversary celebration.
The big quandary here is how to get started. Pat Burrell is on the Wall of Fame, inducted in 2015. That was easier because he was perhaps the first notable retirement from that group. The "big three" will be hard to prioritize.
Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard last played in the major leagues in 2016. Howard played the full season with the Phillies, while, Rollins made a mid-season exit with the White Sox. Chase Utley played the 2017 season and retired afterward.
I would say we should start with Rollins, who debuted first and exited first. Then Utley, who debuted next, with Howard going last. But I think in fairness they could announce that the next three years will honor those three.
Or better yet, how about all three at once? That would leave plenty of years occupied with the likes of Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino, Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge. Those players did not rise to the level of
Dan Baker, since they've passed him over several years in a row. Can they give him a concrete honor, please?
One of the people I revere the most in the Phillies organization is Dan Baker. The Phillies did honor him for 50 years of service on Friday evening with a ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. Unfortunately, I am not sure how well the word got out to fans. I personally only saw a tweet from the Citizens Bank Park Twitter account asking fans to be in their seats for it; I even held tickets to the game and did not get an email.
It was a very nice ceremony, but I do think that the Phillies can and should do more for Dan Baker.
It's not unprecedented to put a non-player on the Wall of Fame. Harry Kalas was added to the wall posthumously. General manager Pat Gillick is on the Wall of Fame for assembling the 2008 Phillies team.
But wait a minute, did I not just suggest that the Phillies start enshrining the 2008 Triumvirate?
As we saw when Gillick was added alongside Roy Halladay, the one did not outshadow the other. How about Jimmy Rollins and Baker enter the same year, next year?
Dan Baker once told me that he hoped to match Bob Sheppard of the Yankees and hit 56 years. Let's not wait for that, or for Baker to retire. How about next year?